Owning a dog doesn’t just mean you now have a cute and fluffy best buddy. It also means that when they’re displaying unwanted behavior, you have to deal with it as well. Dogs jump, bark, chew, and do all kinds of things that may annoy you. Wouldn’t you want a disciplined dog that understands what to do and what not to do? This is where conditioning and training your dog becomes part of the responsibilities as a dog owner.
Training and Consistency Are Necessary
Before you start to reprimand your dog for doing something bad, hold your tongue first. Have you trained them? Do they know the basics like sit, down, and stay? If not, then now you know where to begin. Although teaching them these commands may seem a bit unrelated to bad behaviors, it is actually the most effective way to condition them.
Training your dog instills discipline and helps him understand what is considered good behavior. This also strengthens your bond with your dog and makes him trust you more. The key here is to keep these training sessions constant so that eventually these commands become second nature to them.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
One of the best ways to make sure your dog doesn’t misbehave is to take away any triggers or objects that can make him commit these behaviors in the first place. Your dog loves chewing on shoes? Hide them. Your dog ruins your plants? Build a fence or keep the potted plants out of reach.
Think about when you’re going on a diet. It’s easier to resist delicious, unhealthy food when it’s not there in the first place. If your dog doesn’t see anything to destroy or meddle with, then they wouldn’t think about it in the first place. Out of sight, out of mind.
Positive Reinforcement Is Key
Rather than trying to teach your dog what’s wrong, teach them what’s right instead. If your dog is walking right beside you instead of pulling on the leash, reward him. If your dog sits instead of jumping on you, reward him. Positive reinforcement goes a long way in making your dog understand what he should do.
If you choose negative reinforcement such as hitting or shouting at your dog, it’ll be difficult for them to understand what they did wrong. Punishment will only make them anxious or rebellious.
Summary: Your Efforts Will Be Worth It
You may be worried about having to put in the time to discipline and train your dog. But wouldn’t you rather have a well-behaved pup whom you’re fine with leaving unsupervised over one that you have to constantly worry about? Yes, training does indeed take time, consistency, and a boat load of patients, but the benefits of having a trained dog will all be worth it. Just remember that the longer you keep at it, the more your dog will begin to understand that difference between right and wrong.